B virus infection is exceedingly uncommon, but if not treated quickly, it may cause serious brain damage or death. This virus is usually detected in the saliva, feces (poop), urine (pee), and brain or spinal cord tissue of macaque monkeys. The virus might also be found in lab-grown cells from infected monkeys. The B virus may survive on surfaces for hours, particularly if they are moist.

Moreover, individuals are often infected with the B virus if they are scratched, bitten, or come into contact with an infected macaque monkey’s mouth, nose, or eyes. One incidence of an infected individual transmitting the B virus to another person has been recorded.


Typically, symptoms emerge one month after exposure to the B virus, although they may appear as early as three to seven days after exposure.

The first signs of a B virus infection are often flu-like:

  • Fatigue
  • headache
  • muscle ache
  • fever and chills

Afterward, small blisters may develop in the incision or the area of your body that came into contact with the monkey.

Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Hiccups

As the disease progresses, the virus spreads to the spinal cord and brain, where it causes inflammation. This may result in:

  • Brain injury and serious nervous system damage
  • Neurologic and inflammatory symptoms surrounding the wound site
  • Death
  • Muscle coordination problems


Obtain viral culture and serologic testing specimens from the exposed individual and, if possible, the related monkey.

From an exposed individual

  • It is recommended to collect acute and convalescent serum for serologic testing.
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing samples should be collected only if symptoms of B virus infection develop; they should not be collected at the time of exposure since the collection procedure may drive the infectious virus deeper into the lesion.

From a related monkey

  • A saliva sample should be taken for B virus PCR testing to verify whether the monkey is actively shedding B virus.
  • A serum sample should also be taken and examined to see whether the monkey is B virus seropositive.


If you come into contact with a macaque monkey, get quick medical attention.

  • First, carefully wash and gently clean the wound or region of your body that had touched the monkey for 15 minutes using soap, detergent, or iodine.
  • After that, run water over the cut or region for another 15 to 20 minutes. Then, seek medical assistance right away. Inform your healthcare provider that you were exposed to a B virus-infected macaque monkey.

If your healthcare professional concludes that you necessitate treatment for a B virus infection, antiviral drugs may be prescribed. It is believed that timely first aid and treatment for high-risk exposures are critical to averting life-threatening sickness.

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